Cirque du Cheval Program

Cirque du Cheval is a natural artistic horsemanship program which helps students learn about leadership and relationships using a horse as their mirror. Horses teach people and people teach horses. The program was developed by combining Parelli Natural Horsemanship with techniques derived from other mentors such as Jonathan Field, Klaus Hempfling, Sylvia Zerbini, Carole Fletcher, Stacey Westfall, Honza Blah, Frederick Pignon, Tom Dorrance, etc.

The Cirque du Cheval performance team goal is to introduce natural artistic horsemanship to the general public through demonstrations and performances. Everyone on the team is encouraged to participate, although performances are not mandatory. Instead of shows with competition, the performances will showcase what is possible through imagination and play.

I have been working out a way to make the Cirque du Cheval Program a win win situation for both myself and the Cirque du Cheval team members. With the star system, I am offering team members the opportunity to do chores in exchange for their lesson fees, practice time and clinics. Involving family members in fundraising also helps with costs such as T-shirts and transportation and raises the visibility of the Cirque du Cheval team in the community. Cirque du Cheval team members who have achieved their second star will be encouraged to help with chores and pony parties which they can exchange for the equivalent of $15/hour. I would rather do this exchange than pay someone to rake leaves, clean pens, etc. then charge for lessons, practices and clinics. The more the Cirque du Cheval team members want to help, the less they have to pay. This is a good way to learn responsibility. I will have time sheets for the team members who wish to help to keep track of time earned and spent. There will also be a list of chores that need to be done. Team members who do not wish to participate in the chore exchange are welcome to pay the full fees. Chores can be done any day, not just lesson days. Let me know if you want extra chore time to help with leaves, etc. so I can let you know when I have lots to do.

Another change is that I expect Cirque du Cheval team members to have their own equipment such as helmets, carrot sticks, savvy strings and 12’ ropes. That way, if their own equipment is left out or lost, it doesn’t come out of my pocket.

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